A study by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) found that the cruise industry contributed more than US$52.7bn (€47.8bn) in economic benefits to the US economy during 2018, marking an increase of more than 10% over 2016.
Cruising continues to rise in popularity with nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide embarking from US ports in 2018, an increase of nearly 9% over 2016.
“There’s no doubting the enormity of the cruise industry’s contributions to the US and global economies,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president and CEO. “The 2018 Economic Impact Analysis highlights the incredible impact the industry continues to have on American businesses and individuals, as well as the growing popularity of cruising amongst passengers of all nationalities and backgrounds. There is simply no better way to experience the world, and the cruise industry is proud to have such a positive impact on the people and communities we visit here in the USA.”
In 2018, cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record US$23.96bn (€21.76bn) in the USA – a 33% increase since 2010. The cruise industry also generated 421,711 jobs across the USA in 2018 and contributed more than US$23.15bn (€21.03bn) in wages and salaries, a nearly 13% increase since 2016.
Additional economic benefits include US$28.7bn (€26.07bn) in indirect supply purchases and merchant payments, as well as induced economic benefits from cruise line and supplier purchases of consumer goods and services.
Florida and California, with a total of nine cruise ports between them, accounted for 68% of the US embarkations in 2018. Embarkations from the two cruise terminals in New York increased 12% since 2016 and ports in Galveston also experienced a 13% embarkation increase in 2018, compared to 2016.